Volume 41 No. 2 & 3

Delroy Chevers, Anton Belgrave, Tiffany Grosvenor, Shane Lowe, Paul Thompson, Clyde Mascoll, Alicia Nicholls, Yentyl Williams, Tivia Collins, Don Marshall, Clive. Y. Thomas, Amit K. Chhabra, Damian E. Greaves, Patricia Mohammed

Issue Summary

The thematic focus in this issue includes: Commercial banks; higher education; student loan; tertiary institution; tuition, house price index; median price index; developing countries, capitalism, coloniality of power, diasporic, exploitation, Fiscal stability, Barbados, Jamaica, bounds testing, tax price, cointegration, CARICOM, CARIFORUM, TTIP, EPA, ACP, LAC, octroi de mer, abortion law; sexual citizenship; women’s rights; sexual rights; reproductive rights; Guyana, Reparations, Coloniality, Inter-imperial relations, Capitalism, Eurocentricity

In this issue

Can Millennials Afford Higher Education?

Pages:  1-32Author(s):  Delroy Chevers

Over the past five years, the Students’ Loan Bureau (SLB) in Jamaica has been struggling to fulfil its mandate of disbursing loans to qualified students. The established government funded SLB was not equipped to handle the 153% increase in loan applications over the period 2007 to 2012. With this crisis and little change to the SLB’s funding policy, many students had, and continue to seek alternative funding options. In response to this crisis, commercial banks have expanded their loan offerings. However, many commercial banks have found offering student loans, to be challenging due to the regulations that are required. Hence, the research question seeks to ascertain whether students can afford the funding options offered by commercial banks in Jamaica. Three top tier tertiary institutions that have a bachelor degree in business administration program and five major commercial banks were selected for the study. It was discovered that all the funding options provided by the commercial banks were affordable when students chose University A; two of the five options were affordable when students chose University B and none when University C was chosen. The study highlights the need for policy changes to strengthen the viability and sustainability of the SLB.

Keywords:  Commercial banks, higher education, student loan, tertiary institution, tuition

Constructing a Housing Price Index for Barbados

Pages:  33 - 58Author(s):  Anton Belgrave, Tiffany Grosvenor, Shane Lowe

This paper presents a framework for developing a real estate price index for Barbados using data provided by the country’s central revenue agency, the Barbados Revenue Authority. Apart from the existence of specialised commercial sub-indices, and despite an initial effort by Browne, Clarke and Moore (2008), there exists no general real estate price index for Barbados to date. Ultimately, the paper reviewed a number of approaches proposed in the literature for constructing real estate price indices, and determined that a median price index was most appropriate given the characteristics and limitations of the data. The study enhances the initial efforts of Browne et al. (2008) by utilising the actual sale price of properties rather than the listed price. The results suggest that real estate prices escalated rapidly from middle of the 1990s to about 2010 and stabilised or declined subsequently.

Keywords:  house price index, median price index, developing countries

Coloniality of Power: Subjugation and Inequality in Post-Britannica Dubai

Pages:  59 - 81Author(s):  Paul Thompson

This article grapples with the interconnected and intertwined, yet contrasting lived realities of Dubai’s Western and non-western diasporic communities. As modernity accelerates in the city, it has been accompanied by the racial/ethnic “hierachisation” of the population. Arabs from the Gulf Cooperating Council (GCC) states, as well as Euro-Americans are atop of the city’s multi-layered hierarchy. Whilst at the bottom of the racial hierarchy are migrant labourers from Africa, Asia and other Arab States who are subjected to exploitation and subjugation. The article posits that Aníbal Quijano’s coloniality of power has emerged as an exemplifying concept for contextualising racial formation and subordination in Dubai. Empirical evidence obtained from semi-structured and informal interviews conducted across Dubai’s diasporic communities in the city, is used to support this proposition. The conclusion drawn is that Dubai fits into the canon of thought which is based on a Euro-American practice of racial hierarchy, superiority and subjectivity.

Keywords:  capitalism, coloniality of power, diasporic, exploitation

Estimating Fiscal Stability for Barbados and Jamaica: 1973 – 2010

Pages:  82 - 110Author(s):  Clyde A. Mascoll

This paper examines empirically the concept of fiscal stability for Barbados and Jamaica over the period 1973–2010. Fiscal stability is defined within an extended public choice model of government expenditure attributed to Baumol (1967) and Spann (1977) by the incorporation of a government revenue equation. A tax price variable is used to test Kaldor’s cobweb theorem in measuring fiscal stability that is estimated using the bounds testing approach to cointegration. The results suggest fiscal stability for Barbados in contrast to Jamaica over the long-run. In the short-run, fiscal stability holds for Barbados but is inconclusive for Jamaica.The different results maybe reflecting a greater unbalanced productivity gap in the Jamaica economy.

Keywords:  fiscal stability, Barbados, Jamaica, bounds testing, tax price, cointegration.

Defining Intra-Caribbean Relations in a Post-Preference Era: Caribbean Regional Integration driven by Exogenous International Trade Pressures

Pages:  111 - 138Author(s):  Alicia Nicholls, Yentyl Williams

This paper analyses three international trade developments which will have an impact on Caribbean trading relations with its main external partners: First, the Caribbean’s main partners, the US and EU are negotiating the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Though the future of the TTIP negotiations remains uncertain, the Trump Administration has not expressly shelved the discussions. Second, the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) countries were the first of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group to sign a comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU. This may be complicated by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and pivot towards the Commonwealth. However, the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) framework is gaining attention in post-Cotonou debates. Third, French Caribbean islands are strengthening relations with CARICOM, despite tensions arising from ‘l’octroi de mer’ (dock dues). This paper concludes that these extra-Caribbean forces will exert more pressure on the Caribbean to unite in order to be better able to weather these headwinds.

Keywords:  CARICOM, CARIFORUM, TTIP, EPA, ACP, LAC, octroi de mer

Reproductive Rights and Citizenship: Understanding the State’s Inability to Implement the Abortion Laws of Guyana

Pages:  139 - 165Author(s):  Tivia Collins

This paper examines the state’s treatment of sexual and reproductive rights in Guyana through the 1995 Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act. It addresses the ways in which the lack of implementation of the abortion law can be read as the state’s desire to reproduce a certain kind of acceptable citizen and regulate sexual bodies by determining what rights women can and cannot have access to and how they are allowed to access them. This research offers a historical analysis of the abortion law in Guyana, alongside a critical review of the actions by government that contributed to the passing of the law. The researcher explores the relationship between sexual citizenship and the state’s expression of power by highlighting ways the state denies certain types of bodies their rights by not implementing the abortion law. Finally, the project offers recommendations to have the abortion law implemented without reservation.

Keywords:  abortion law, sexual citizenship, women’s rights, sexual rights, reproductive rights, Guyana.

Whose and What World Order? Fanon and the Salience of the Caribbean Reparations Endeavour

Pages:  166 - 180Author(s):  Don D. Marshall

In this article I seek to engage the reparations schematic, particularly its premise and potential for advancing a politics of international human dignity. I begin by reflecting on the material, goal-oriented discussions arising from Caribbean Community (CARICOM) reparatory endeavours before engaging its generative force for thinking of just world orders. I posit the need to embrace the Fanonian antagonism – that is to confront the scarring and subjective insecurity arising from the Black-White relation, and the cluster of dead ends Western reductive frameworks throws up. For Fanon, Western order was founded on colonial relations. At its core was the violent denial of black individuality and liberty. Its lasting effects are experienced and contested by many people of colour across all continents. From their vantage point, it is an unjust world existing just beyond the edge of mainstream International Relations. It is co-constituted by white male supremacist claims and processes of proletarianisation. Its period style remains that of the Caliban-Prospero trope located in forms of political thought that privilege Western/Eurasian geographies as advanced mind, and others as zones of anarchy. This Manichean division of the geopolitical and ecological into zones entailing the evacuation of black and colonial subjects, animates the hold of Eurocentricity on imaginings of human dignity and just world orders. If the reparations endeavour - both in terms of its material claims and critique – is to come into its own as radical thought, it must distance itself from extant Manichean zoning; and reclaim the sovereignty of the human and of postcolonial self-determination

Keywords:  reparations, coloniality, inter-imperial relations, capitalism, eurocentricity

Public lecture: A STATE OF DISARRAY: PUBLIC POLICY IN THE CARIBBEAN*

Pages:  181 - 198Author(s):  Clive.Y.Thomas

The title of my talk is highly suggestive – what do I mean when I describe public policy in the Caribbean as being in: “a state of disarray”? If we did only a rapid scan of the region’s public sector the answer would be provided.

Keywords: 

Commentary: Reflections and a Recipe for Change: Constitutional Reform in Saint Lucia

Pages:  199 - 208Author(s):  Amit K. Chhabra, Damian E. Greaves

“Le mieux est l’ennemi du bien.”
(The perfect is the enemy of the good.)
- Voltaire, La Bégueule

In spite of relative post-Independence peace in the English-speaking Caribbean, recent debate has centered on whether Saint Lucia’s Constitution should be amended or replaced. This movement presents an opportunity for a Commonwealth nation to re-examine its governmental structures, account for civil liberties and economic rights protections, checks and balances, and to disallow “the law to become the hostage of history.”

Keywords: 

Book review: Negotiating Gender, Policy and Politics in the Caribbean: Feminist Strategies, Masculinist Resistance and Transformational Possibilities

Pages:  209- 213Author(s):  Gabrielle Jamela Hosein, Jane Parpart

This is a timely body of work dealing with strategies in the Caribbean for over two decades to create equality and equity through gender interventions. The publication is well timed in that these processes now require critical evaluation of their weaknesses and successes before we continue to forge ahead blindly. The years covered are the last decades of the twentieth century into the second unfinished decade of the twenty first century. This book therefore represents the processing of relatively current events. In the fast moving and rapidly changing political landscape, it is vital that societies make critical sense of politics and political instruments of change to avoid errors and waste of resources.

Keywords: 

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